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by Sophie_M
31 minutes ago
Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers)

Space for sharing tips on supporting a partner, family member or friend with a mental health condition, and seeking support for your own wellbeing with other carers.

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by The Bro
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Young people

Space for people aged 12-25 to discuss life and wellbeing issues. If you are aged over 25, please be mindful that this forum is a space for younger people to connect and provide peer support for each other.

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by Isabella_
2 days ago
Grief and loss

Support following the bereavement of a family member, partner, spouse or someone close to you.

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by Christina S
1 day and 1 hour ago

Topic: struggling with special needs children

  1. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    21 May 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Good Morning Mark,

    How are you today?

    Auditor to youth worker is not a change I have heard of before! But then people really don't understand when I tell them my journey either! I fell in to financial work actually when I was quite young. I got a job answering the phone at an accounting firm, then was promoted to doing payroll, then bookkeeping for clients, then reviewing other staff's work (over many years of course. Moved firms a few times, but the last company I worked for was very corporate with very wealthy privileged clients. I was treated well by my employer, and there is satisfaction in taking financial mess and make it into beautiful impeccable financials.

    However, there was just a real mismatch between my work and what I thought was important in life and Blake hadn't settled well into school as I had hoped. So I resigned in 2017 to be on call for my son (my ex does not work but chooses to be minimum dad). I then decided to use the time to start a new career direction, so I did a degree in environmental science, as environmental protection is important to me. I now want to start working again, but I need to wait until my son is stable in school, (hence the honours project!) Working is good for my mental health, as without keeping busy my brain goes into an overthinking loop (it's good for my pocket too). I hope next year I can start working again, but it will depend on how Blake's transition to high school goes.

    I hope your finding the time and energy to get out into the garden. I wish I was, but I am mostly at my desk (with some window gazing!)

    Enjoy your day :)

  2. Sleepy21
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    4156 posts
    21 May 2021

    hi all

    i hope u are doing well and so are ur kids!

    changing careers is an amazing option, my family doesn't have many expamples of this, it seemed everyone stuck to one job, i'm finding the idea of having a few different options and career paths makes more sense and is a way to increase contenment :)

  3. Matchy69
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    5869 posts
    21 May 2021 in reply to Sleepy21
    Hi Sleepy seems a common thing today to change careers.My dad stayed in the same job 43 years which included promotions and becoming second in charge.I wish I had jobs to talk about.I have done labouring and working in waste management in recycling.Nothing really exciting and have been on a pension for years for my mental health.
  4. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    23 May 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Hello,

    I am glad we have a social safety net for those that are not able to work.

    My first job when I was 15, serving at a fast food place! Then at 16 I worked in the evening feeding old people at a nursing home. To me even though work was often a grind, work was a way to freedom. I grew up with nothing, and had no financial support from my family from 16 onward. My first pay was so exciting, I still remember that I bought a dictionary and a pair of brogues!

    As I didn't really have any emotional or financial support from actual family, work became like my family. When I resigned from work, I had some clients I had been seeing for 10 years, so you get to know them quite well too. My favourite workplace was a small accounting firm that had mostly italian small business clients, and I was the only non-italian who worked there. They were so welcoming and supportive and lovely, and great food at functions too! Unfortunately the business owner died, so it was taken over by another firm.

    Work can also be incredibly destructive when it is not the right place or people for you. I had one absolutely disgusting manager for a time, and I dreaded going to work each day, but I found a way to move on. So many people suffered from her (and she is still there), she would be sweet as pie in front of the partners, and then threatening and rude to her team.

    I think it is important to have purpose in your life for your MH. Employment can give some people that purpose, but that is not the only thing. Volunteering, personal projects, raising children, studying or whatever. Mark, you seem to find that sense of purpose through caring for your kids, gardening and making jam, which are all positive things to be investing your time in to.

    Sleepy, do you like your present work? Have you thought about what you actually need from a job, to make it a positive thing for you. You mentioned maybe social work would be a good fit, have you thought further on this?

    I am scared about having to look for work after having a break, as I am over 40 now and they say it is harder for older people to find work.

  5. Matchy69
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    5869 posts
    23 May 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudica my kids have been sick all weekend so it hasn't been much of a weekend.

    It is really hard for somone with mental health problems to get on a DSP these days.Was much easier years ago.The older you get it seems harder to find work even if you have all the qualifications but some employees do like employing older people as they like someone with life's experiences and know they will work.

    Take care,

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    23 May 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Hi Mark,

    Sorry your kids are sick again, it seems there has been lots of illness circling around schools this year. They just had an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease at my sons school...glad he missed that!

    All the best :)

  7. Sleepy21
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    23 May 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudaica and Mark

    I'm okay in my work now as i'm experienced and qualified however I think I would like to continue with my goal of studying social work. I think I would like another shot at life, anoher attempt at something new.

    I don't think at 40 it will be too hard for u to get into work but i could be wrong. there is agism everywhere, that is a fact but i'm sure u can contribute a lot and be an asset and 40 is very young :)

    I haven't shared my intent yet with many ppl around me, feels a bit funny as i myself see health professionals, like i'm poaching their job lol..

    I've worked in a few fields but haven't found my niche yet....

    sorry mark that ur son is sick and hoping ur okay and ur daughter is recovering

  8. Matchy69
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    5869 posts
    24 May 2021 in reply to Sleepy21
    Hi sleepy I think you will make a great social worker and hope you can become one.I had a friend once who was one such a great caring person like yourself.
    1 person found this helpful
  9. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    28 May 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Hello Mark,

    How has your week been? How are you kids going?

    I have so much work for uni, so whenever Blake is not with me I am trying to study.....it's getting me down though. I have an app on my phone and study in 25 minute blocks, with 5 minute stretch breaks!

    Blake has been particularly explosive this last week, I think when I am stressed it effects him too. No major breakages or fires though, so that is good. He did throw his phone and put his laptop in the bin, but luckily they both survived with no visible damage, his maths book did not fair so well, and is in small shreds. He is almost like Jekyl and Hyde, gentle and quiet when ok, but aggressive and loud when upset. People are often very frightened of him when he turns, and has had teachers say they fear for their lives and refuse to teach him (even though he has never hurt anyone at school - he does throw objects and has threatened to hurt himself though). He is on anti-psychotics but the dose is fairly low, so they just take the edge off his volatility. Some kids on the spectrum don't have the aggression..........ah life would be so easy for those parents!. I am scared of what it will be like when he is bigger, as he is already bigger than me, and know that he will grow well over 6ft like his dad and my brother.

    Sorry for the vent, I think you are one of the few that understand what it is like day to day though.

    Have you been getting out into your garden at all this week?

  10. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5927 posts
    28 May 2021 in reply to Boudica
    Hi Boudica, 

    We are sorry to hear that you are feeling under so much pressure at the moment, parenting is challenging enough and when children need extra care that can add to this even more. We want to thank you for reaching out here and sharing your story and experiences with us all. 

    We think that calling a phoneline for specefic parenting support would be a great step towards feeling more in control by giving you a chance to discuss how you're feeling with an expert. Their are state-specific numbers which you can find here.

    Please know you can also call us anytime on 1300 22 4636 if you feel overwhelemed and need someone to talk to. 

    Thank you again for sharing your experience with us, please feel free to drop back in and keep us updated. 

    Kind regards, 
    Sophie M
  11. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    28 May 2021 in reply to Sophie_M
    Thanks Sophie
  12. Matchy69
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    5869 posts
    28 May 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudica I have been at the schools Gala day all day.I am sorry you are struggling at the moment.Its not easy parenting a child with special needs and not knowing how he is going to be during the day and what drama will await you for the day.My day was ok.My son was ok today and easy to manage unlike last fortnight where he was full on at Gala day.It was an easy day in the end.

    I haven't done much at in the garden lately and we have had heavy frost here knocking back everything.

    Take care,

    Mark.

  13. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    29 May 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Hello,

    Happy to hear things went well for you. What is Gala Day? We do not have these. My son's school stopped having any events as soon as covid started, and parents are not even allowed on premises except in the office still. I feel really sorry for the tiny little reception children who had to adapt to finding their way out the gate as soon as they started school. In our state there has been hardly any covid, but the reaction by schools has been very strong.

    Actually, things are not too bad with Blake, he has been explosive but manageable, he can be de-escalated fairly quick, I am used to this. It has not been anywhere near as bad as it gets. This year school has been pretty good, last year was horrendous. Can never quite relax though, as soon as I do, something truly awful happens.

    I saw the QLD frost on the ABC news app that I have actually. The photographs made me want to get out there and stomp around in the frosty paddocks with my gumboots like when I was a child.

    Have a nice day

  14. Matchy69
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    5869 posts
    29 May 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudica the Gala day is just all the schools in the district come to one school even the private schools and play sport against each other over two Fridays.Their was a bit of nastiness from one of the schools and one of my son's team mates left the field in tears.

    Another frosty morning here just nice sitting in front of the fire.

    Take care,

    Mark.

  15. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    29 May 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Hello Mark,

    How I miss having a fireplace! I am glad you are cosy. I am rugged up with heater on trying to study, but still cold, as it is hard to keep warm sitting still. Blake is at his Dad's today but will be back for dinner.

    I am being driven crazy by a mouse at the moment. It has got through the vent outside I think, and is in the cavity between downstairs ceiling and floor upstairs. There is no way to get in there to get it out. It is rustling all day and my son is starting to worry about it chewing the house wiring. I know I have to deal with it, but not sure how. Maybe I need to try to put poison bait into the vent where it must have got in. The openings are only the size of a 10 cent piece. I have a cat that sits and stares at the ceiling all day, but can't get in.

  16. Sleepy21
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    4156 posts
    29 May 2021 in reply to Boudica

    hey boudica,

    hope u can find a way to get rid of the mouse becauase they are so frustrating!!!

    i've had the same issue in my apartment and found it very stressful, hope blake is feeling okay this weekend

  17. TheLastSlice ofBread
    TheLastSlice ofBread avatar
    19 posts
    30 May 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Guilt was a common conversation I had with parents when working at a special needs school.
    I found they put pressure on themselves and the general public too.

    our main Line was so what you need to do to keep yourself well an able to care for Them.

    that may have meant utilising respite (or fighting for more) using nappies despite age,

    it’s a tough gig and if you need more support please be in contact as I may be able to help with contacts

  18. Matchy69
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    Matchy69 avatar
    5869 posts
    30 May 2021 in reply to TheLastSlice ofBread

    Hi TheLastSlice of Bread thanks for your caring suggestions.You are completely right about needing to keep yourself well to be able to care for your kids.It does make it harder when I suffer from physical and mental health problems.I think it is one of the main things is having the energy to look after them.You have good days and bad days.

    Take care,

    Mark.

  19. Matchy69
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    5869 posts
    30 May 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudica mice were bad here until we had all that rain and it drowned a lot of them and their numbers have dropped.I have manage to keep them outside and had none in the house.

    The fire is nice on a cold day and I like to sit and watch it.Still frost here this morning with light frost.

    I did a couple of hours out in the garden this morning.I did some pruning and potted up a few things.

    Take care,

    Mark.

  20. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    31 May 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Good Morning all,

    It is a nice bright clear morning here, but very chilly, which makes it just a little harder to leave my warm bed.

    So glad you made it out to the garden for a bit. Gardening is so peaceful. I haven't had time myself these last days, but I bought some new ceramic planters when I was in Aldi, so I can look forward to having more plants in the house.

    Mum and I have been in the habit of leaving boxes of giveaway plants grown from cuttings outside the rear gate of my property. We have done this for some years now, and find they go very quick, as there is a path along there that is quite busy. We started originally as I was having problems with people stealing plants from my garden, so thought I would provide some for those who could not afford to buy, but I still have this problem sometimes. I really have no sympathy for the plant thieves now. This week they took a cocky's tongue that I planted, Grrrr!

    I have not dealt with the mouse yet, I kind of feel sorry for it, but know it must be done.

    Sleepy, sorry you have to endure another lockdown. Let's hope it will be very short this time.

  21. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    31 May 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hello Mark,

    Today I found out my ex's chemotherapy didn't work, and he is next going to have major surgery. I find it really hard to find a way to talk about these things with Blake. When he first found out his dad had cancer, he didn't react at all, but later I found out that he thought it meant he was going to die. Blake does not express his thoughts and emotions at all usually, but sometimes they come out in strange ways later on. His dad will definitely need to have a colostomy bag now, and Blake had said before that if that happened he would no longer want to see his dad, as he just found the idea too disgusting. He is going to find it all really hard to process :(

  22. Matchy69
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    5869 posts
    1 June 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudica I am sorry the chemo hasn't worked for your ex and I know how this must be effecting you.Telling Blake about his dad will be the hardest thing for the both of you.I remember that talk with my mum about my dad when I was a teenager and it did effect me so much to the point of locking my self away in my room.Keep an eye on Blake and give him time and be there for him.

    Take care,

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  23. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    1 June 2021 in reply to Matchy69
    Thanks Mark, you always seem to have some kind thoughts to share. Spoke to Blake, but no reaction so far ....he is really not able to communicate or even recognize what he is feeling generally. He never hides out from me in his room actually, he tends to follow me around as he doesn't like to be alone (I often wish I had a bit more personal space!). He is next to me, and I think he is avoiding thinking about it by watching topgear re-runs on youtube non-stop.
  24. Matchy69
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    5869 posts
    2 June 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudica everyone see.s to have their own coping mechanisms.The most important thing is for Blake to know your there for him.It was a very traumatic experience going through.I remember my mum trying to hug me and I just pushed her away.I could never talk to anyone about how I was feeling or express my emotions.I don't think I can even 35 years later.

    My son seems to like being by himself and other times he wants me with him.My daughter seems to be drifting apart from me in her teenage years but know I have a lot my parenting to do even though she is almost 18.

    Take care,

    Mark

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    3 June 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Good Morning Mark,

    How are you today? It was all foggy here this morning, so I took my coffee down to the lake to drink. I like to watch the rowers slowly appearing out of the fog as they come near.

    My eldest son was one for lurking in his room as a teenager. Sometimes really hard to know what is going on in their life at that age as they can become very secretive. He is still living with me at 26 (working and studying though). He did move out for a couple of years and lived with a girlfriend, but when they split, he came back home.

  26. Matchy69
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    5869 posts
    3 June 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudica no fog here this morning but we are getting some nice rain at the moment.Just did some pruning earlier before the rain came.

    My daughter didn't go to school again today.Only just over 5 months to go for her and then a new chapter.

    Take care,

    Mark.

  27. Sleepy21
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    4156 posts
    3 June 2021

    Hi all

    Hi Boudica, it's nice that ur son can live with u but has also had the experience living out of home

    Rent is expensive these days, I can understand why they'd want to save up :)

    Hi Mark, only 5 months til she finishes - you must be proud of her! She sounds like she has some plans which is good - a lot of ppl at her age don't have any attraction to anything particular... i was pretty unsure at that age too.

    Cold here and will rain for a few days. A friend is coming over to bring a care package to me as I'm scared of going to the supermarkets. We are a bit confused and topsy turvy hree in melbourne, a new lockdown and rules again, but not exactly the same as lsat time. Sometimes I forget that we don't have a curfew, and feel guilty leaving the house after 9pm.

  28. Matchy69
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    5869 posts
    4 June 2021 in reply to Sleepy21

    Hi sleepy it's good that my daughter has plans but will have to try and keep her motivated and hope she can manage to stick to it as I know how hard it is and can be quick to lose motivation.

    After a wet day yesterday it is just windy here today and feels really cold at the moment.

    I don't blame you not going to the shops.I don't go much to the shops anymore and get my groceries delivered every fortnight.This coviid has just made me go back to my old ways of not going out if I can help it.

    Take care,

    Mark.

  29. Matchy69
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    5869 posts
    5 June 2021

    Hi slly son waking up thisorning has a nasty sounding cough again but sed to have plenty of energy.He wants me to make him some pilelets for breakfast so I will go and do that now.

    Take care,

    Mark.

  30. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    8 June 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Good Morning Mark,

    I hope your son is on the mend. How's things?

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